Pat McCrory

McCrory spoke about his decision to sign HB 589 in a video.
NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill today that requires voters to present a photo ID at the polls, despite opposition from Attorney General Roy Cooper. In addition to requiring a form of photo ID for voters, the bill also shortens early voting by one week. Hours after he signed the bill, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed a lawsuit challenging the bill.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Gurnal Scott

Governor Pat McCrory has a teaching degree. His grandmother was a teacher and his sister taught for 20 years in Wake County. He says frequently that he respects the profession and that teachers are the most important part of the state’s public education system.

The Governor continued that line of praise in his speech at the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s Education summit.

“I have a great admiration for teachers and they have a greater challenge than any of us have in this room at this point in time,” he said.

Kieran Shanahan
N.C. Dept. of Public Safety

Kieran Shanahan will step down as state public safety secretary in less than a week.   Shanahan was among then-Governor-elect Pat McCrory's first cabinet appointees.

In his resignation letter, Shanahan said he told the governor last December that his service hinged on two factors: his legal career and his wife's military career.  Lisa Shanahan is receiving a Naval promotion to Rear Admiral and he said being away from his law practice was proving to be a challenge.  McCrory says he understands that.

Governor McCrory signs first bill February 18, 2013
Governor's office

Dozens of bills passed by the State Legislature in the last few days are sitting on Governor Pat McCrory’s desk. McCrory says he will sign most, but wants to take a closer look at a few.

Those bills include one that requires welfare recipients to be drug tested, and another that deals with billboards along highways.

The Governor said he is most proud of the tax reform law he signed earlier this week.

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC Governor's office

Here’s a little frivolity to end the long week in Raleigh…

At his press conference on Friday to speak to reporters about the many bills that have arrived on his desk, Governor Pat McCrory had a bit of a Rick Perry moment.

One of his favorite talking points – first stated in his State of The State speech – is that he has three major priorities as Governor: Economy, Education, and Efficiency.

“The Three E’s,” he calls it.

Lenovo Manufacturing
State of North Carolina

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed major tax reform legislation into law this week, keeping one of his most ardent campaign promises. 

The governor and his conservative Republican base have consistently said North Carolina would be better able to attract business to the state with lower taxes.

Protesters crowd the capitol for a Moral Mondays protest.
Matthew Lenard

It seems like a long time ago, but it’s really been just seven months since newly-inaugurated Governor Pat McCrory sounded this hopeful tone:

“North Carolina’s greatest strength and asset remains its people,” he said during his inauguration speech.

“On those main streets across this state, it’s the people that count and that make a difference. People will come from different backgrounds but share a common set of principles. Self-starters and hard workers.”

General Assembly
Dave DeWitt

Both houses of the State Legislature have passed a final $20.6 billion dollar budget. Much of today's debate in the House and Senate centered on the cuts to public education. Those cuts include eliminating about 2,000 teacher assistant positions and ending teacher tenure.

"You cut a half a billion dollars out of education in this budget in order to make up for the tax giveaway that you did for the wealthy and the out-of-state corporations," said Democrat Martin Nesbitt,  the Senate Minority Leader.

Gov. McCrory signs tax reform into law.
Dave DeWitt

It was all smiles inside the Governor’s mansion today. Flanked by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, House Speaker Thom Tillis, and his own budget director Art Pope, the Governor praised his fellow Republicans for their leadership in passing wide-ranging tax reform.

He says it will help the state recruit new businesses.

"There are a lot of people unemployed right now," McCrory said. "There are a lot of people looking for work and there are a lot of companies looking at other states to go to create new jobs. And they’re beating out North Carolina."

Reverend William Barber led another Moral Mondays protest at the capitol.
Matthew Lenard

For many lawmakers and lobbyists, the culmination of five months of work during this biennial long session came when a final budget was released late Sunday night. More than 500 pages and $20.5 billion, the budget was finalized behind closed doors by two men, both Republicans – Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis.

NC General Assembly, tax reform, Governor McCrory
Jessica Jones

Governor Pat McCrory and leaders of the state House and Senate have come to a long-awaited agreement on what they say is fiscally responsible tax reform.

The plan would replace the state’s tiered personal income tax rate with a flat 5.8 percent in 2014, and the corporate tax rate would fall as well. The sales tax would be broadened only slightly.

Pat McCrory at a middle school earlier this year.
NC Governors Office

Governor Pat McCrory is pushing a Five Pathways plan to improve education. The plan is broad and affects all levels of public education in North Carolina, from early childhood education to Universities.

Eric Guckian, the Governor’s Education Advisor, presented the plan to the State Board of Education today. He highlighted one of the five pathways:  growing “innovative learning options” for families.

Office of Pat McCrory
NC Governors Office

Governor Pat McCrory said that he will veto a bill that places stricter regulations on clinics providing abortions unless state lawmakers make significant changes to the bill. McCrory's office released a statement this morning saying “major portions of the bill are of sound value,” however he would block the measure unless the legislature amends it to include provisions his administration outlined yesterday.

Protesters gather outside the legislative building to protest the abortion bill passed by the Senate Wednesday morning.
Jessica Jones

A bill that would require abortion clinics in North Carolina to have the same building codes and standards as ambulatory surgery centers has received final approval from the state Senate.  All of Planned Parenthood's clinics in North Carolina would not meet those standards.

classroom
Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

As leaders in state government haggle over what to include – or not include – in the final budget, teachers across North Carolina are concerned about their jobs and their salaries. 

Teacher salaries in North Carolina have not moved much in recent years. Most of that has been due to the recession. But as other states begin to increase teacher salaries as the economy improves, North Carolina has cut teacher salaries by more than 15 percent.

smart start
Wake Smart Start

Republican leaders in the legislature are getting ready to hash out their own versions of the state budget. And the House, Senate and Governor’s version are quite different when it comes to pre-K.

North Carolina has long been praised for its commitment to high-quality pre-kindergarten programs. But all three of the current budgets make cuts to those programs, to varying degrees.

Teaching Fellows
Henderson County Schools

Back in the 1980s, North Carolina had a serious teacher problem. There were shortages in much of the state, but the bigger problem wasn’t how many teachers, but who they were.

“We had a real need to raise the scholastic profile of candidates for teaching and also to increase the numbers of males and minorities in teaching,” remembers Jo Ann Norris, President and Executive Director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

NC Legislative Building
Dave DeWitt

Charter schools have been around in North Carolina for about a decade and a half, and for most of that time, the relationship between charters and traditional public schools has alternated between frosty and hostile.

“One of the fundamental reasons for introducing charter schools is to put an element of competition into the education arena and let parents make the choice,” says Baker Mitchell. Mitchell opened his first charter school in 2000 outside of Wilmington and a second six years later; he has a third opening this fall.

McCrory gives weekly GOP address
www.governor.state.nc.us

Gov. Pat McCrory gave a national audience a glimpse into reforms he wants to implement in North Carolina.  He delivered this past weekend's GOP response to President Obama's weekly address. 

McCrory criticized what he called Washington's "weak leadership" and urged national lawmakers to give more flexibility and accountability to states.  He says he needs that kind of freedom to implement a different approach to Medicaid reform.

Bertie County schools has a deficit of $700,000.
RambergMediaImages / Flickr/Creative Commons

The previous State Elections Board's term expired just as they were beginning to investigate $235,000 of allegedly illegal political donations.  The donations implicate Gov. Pat McCrory and legislators from both parties.  Governor McCrory made the unusual decision of replacing all of the board members. 

NC House
Jessica Jones

Legislators in Raleigh can't agree over a bill that would revamp several important state boards and commissions.

Members of the House and Senate have worked to reach a compromise for several weeks over Senate Bill 10. The measure would strip many boards and commissions of members so Governor McCrory could appoint new ones.

NCDOT secretary Tony Tata
Gurnal Scott

Governor Pat McCrory wants a new method of funding transportation projects in order to spur economic growth.  He says the way the state has approached transportation projects has not favored areas that need an economic boost.

"We have struggled to keep pace with the needs of our growing areas and to bring jobs to our most economic-challenges areas of this state.  So right now it's time to think differently," McCrory says.

BBC Radio 4, via Flickr

Margaret Thatcher is as divisive in death as she was in life.  Even as many around the world mourn her loss this week, others celebrate it.  London police are bracing for protests and possible violence at her funeral.

Governor McCrory presented Billy Graham with a proclamation declaring him 'North Carolina’s Favorite Son.'
Office of Pat McCrory

It’s not every day that you’re called somebody’s favorite son, but if you’re Billy Graham, you might be accustomed to earning superlative titles. He has been voted one of the “Ten Most Admired Men in the World” in a Gallup poll a whopping 56 times, and yesterday, Governor Pat McCrory and state lawmakers added another one to his list: North Carolina’s favorite son.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Gurnal Scott

Governor Pat McCrory has announced a plan that could privatize the state's Medicaid program that serves low-income people.

The state will hold a competitive bidding process for three big managed-care providers to deliver medical, mental and dental services to patients. Governor McCrory says the plan will help streamline the delivery of Medicaid services.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory's office says it no longer has a staff member devoted to Hispanic affairs.  The governor's staff says the duties of the state's Latino office will go to another office that handles all contact with state residents.

The NC Chamber's plan to grow the economy has four main principals.
NCChamber.net

Governor McCrory spoke Wednesday at a North Carolina Chamber event in Greensboro about how he believes the state can best grow the economy and create jobs. The Republican leader of the state offered five areas in which he says the most attention is needed. He also hinted that in the coming weeks he will propose significant reform to Medicaid and the tax code. 

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory introduced his first budget proposal this week and within the measure calls on state legislators to restore seven million of dollars in funding for drug courts. The funding for drug courts was cut two years ago and resources for treatment were slashed last year. Drug courts are designed to help repeat offenders of drug laws get treatment instead of going to jail.

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC Governor's Office

This week's budget proposal from Gov. Pat McCrory includes tweaks to funding for economic development programs. 

The governor unveiled his spending plan Wednesday.  It would add money to a new economic branding strategy as well as a program that supports main streets in small communities.  But it cuts funds for two non-profits and a foundation that provide grants meant to support job growth.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

As he unveiled his proposed $20.6 billion dollar budget yesterday, the banner behind Governor Pat McCrory trumpeted the three initiatives he wanted to emphasize. It read: “Economy. Education. Efficiency.” In reality, though, education should have been number one, because it’s by far the largest expenditure and the area where the biggest fights are likely.

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